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Green Goes the Neighborhood
Do you take pride in being the person on your block with the least flushes on your low-flow toilet, or for having last used a plastic bag some time when Michael Jackson still had a nose? You know there's whole neighborhoods designed for people like you—or at least there will be soon and they'll bring a whole new meaning to the traditional sanction of the yard of the month club.
There are currently more than 100 existing co-housing communities around the country and almost the same amount in the works. In these communities neighbors own their individual homes, but share responsibility for common spaces. Many of them have standard green construction like recycled insulation and triple-glazed windows. One neighborhood in Massachusetts features a wood pellet-fueled boiler that heats up all of its homes.
As popularity of the concept soars, we can likely expect to see builders start to take notice, especially since the U.S. Green Building Association will expand its Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) certification program to designate entire neighborhoods, which will begin next year.
"A lot of the builders out there are nay-sayers,"' said Robert Thornton to the Canadian Press. Thorton is a builder whose company is constructing 350 green homes in Ocean View, Delaware. "Once they see that's where their economic impact is going to be most effective, they get on board. They see that's what our customers are demanding."
If you decided to live in a co-housing community, what kind of features would you like your neighborhood to have—a community garden, sustainable heating systems or maybe a cable channel that runs "An Inconvenient Truth" on continuous loop? What do you think of this particular green living concept? [Canadian Press]